The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Scene and heard

With spring in the air, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors-even in New York City. Both Manhattan and Queens offer a wide variety of activities and places to visit when the weather is nice.

Let’s face it, the weather here hasn’t exactly been too spring-like recently, which is why I take advantage of the few days that are warm by spending as much time as I can outside. And while everyone who knows me knows how much I despise any sort of athletic activity, I have found other, more entertaining activities to take part in outside.

One of my favorite things to do in Manhattan is go on walking tours. Last weekend, I attended the coolest walking tour ever: a tour of bakeries and chocolate shops in the East Village. Walking Tours Manhattan actually holds a dessert tour in a different Manhattan neighborhood the first Sunday of every month. There is a $5 donation fee to go on the tour (the money goes to charity) and unfortunately, you have to buy your own treats at each of the places you visit. But a lot of the places have free samples.

Arguably the most interesting place I went to on the tour was Momofuku Milk Bar, located at 207 2nd Avenue. The line was out the door, even at 11 a.m. After I bought some treats there, I understood why this place is so popular. Momofuku Milk Bar serves up cookies, pies, cakes, breads and more, most made with a combination of ingredients that sounds a bit odd at first glance.

For example, one of their most popular cookies is the “cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookie.” While I was definitely a bit hesitant to try it at first, the cornflakes really do add a perfect crunch to the cookie and the marshmallow adds a nice gooiness. Even weirder than that is the “compost cookie,” containing chocolate chips, pretzels, potato chips and coffee grinds. Yet again, I was presently surprised at how delicious this cookie turned out to be.

Another one of the great places I went to was Black Hound, an upscale bakery located at 149 1st Avenue. Black Hound offers some of the best brownies in the city. The “triple chocolate brownie,” containing white chocolate chips is worth the $4 and the long subway ride.

Also of note is Bespokes Chocolate, located in a little alley off of 1st Street and 2nd Avenue (they call this alley “Extra Place”). This tiny little store-only about 12 people can fit inside-has some truly decadent handmade chocolate truffles.

However, this place is quite expensive, so make sure you go with someone who is willing to splurge; one truffle will set you back $2.25.

If dessert is just not your thing, that’s ok; you still have a lot of other options. Central Park is always a safe choice for a good time. Why not go to the zoo or have a picnic with your friends to celebrate the end of the semester?

If you don’t feel like traveling all the way into Manhattan, you have another option: Cunningham Park. You can enter the park on Union Turnpike and 193rd Street. This park has always been a favorite place of mine to just walk around and enjoy the nice atmosphere with a group of friends.

There are also tennis courts and a kid’s park where you can ride on the swings-you’re never too old for that. The best part: it’s within walking distance from St. John’s.

So whatever you’re interests are, one thing is for certain: you’ll never run out of fun, interesting activities to do in the great outdoors of New York City.

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